LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The school year kicked off just a few weeks ago and some Clark County School District students are already dealing with longer bus rides and changing routes.
Alexis Salazar told 13 Action News her little brother's bus route has been delayed or completely canceled more than a dozen times since the start of the school year. Salazar said once he gets to school, he has to catch up on all the work that he missed.
“I would say it happens about three to four times a week in the morning and the afternoon. Even this morning I received an email that his bus was going to be about an hour late,” Salazar said.
Salazar said she’s concerned for her brother's safety, plus, she’s worried that he’s going to fall behind in school.
“It's frustrating. I know he’s not the only one. I see all the kids just sitting there on the sidewalk,” Salazar said.
CCSD said the problem is fueled by the fact that they don’t have enough drivers. Currently, the school district is looking to fill 234 positions.
“This is not unique to CCSD. This is actually far from ideal and there’s a pressing urgency to get back on track,” Mike Casey, the chief operating officer for CCSD said.
The school district said it is hiring year-round but believes the hiring process also needs to be streamlined. Currently, it could take a bus driver anywhere 8 to 12 weeks to become certified.
“I understand with covid and everything a lot of people don’t wanna work but then again it’s the safety of the kids,” Salazar said.
The bus driver shortage is trickling down into the classroom. Students that don’t make it to school on time are being marked as physically absent, although teachers can add a comment explaining why the child was late.
Salazar wants the problem to be fixed as soon as possible, before students, like her little brother, start falling behind.
“He gets discouraged because he’s like, ‘The bus is not showing up. What's the point? I might as well stay home,’” Salazar said.
CCSD said students that are late to class have the option to make up instructional time.
The district is also looking at partnering with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to add more bus routes, but CCSD said even that has been difficult because RTC is dealing with its own shortage.